As a culture that likes to jump on healthy food ideas from other countries (acai, quinoa, etc) it’s unusual that we’ve not taken more wholeheartedly to rice and beans for breakfast. A popular dish in South America, rice and beans is actually one of the best breakfasts you can have.
Let me say that again: rice and beans is one of the best, healthiest breakfasts you can have.
When eaten together, they contain a whole protein (all the essential amino acids), shedloads of protein, lots of iron, fibre, vitamin B and starch, which is an excellent slow-release energy source. If that wasn’t enough, it also sets your blood sugar on a healthy path for the rest of the day. Though it might seem odd to us, for whom breakfast foods are generally sweeter, rice actually tastes fantastic in the morning, and if you add a little spice to the beans, it’s got the perfect kick to get your day started.
1 cup canned kidney beans, drained
1/2 cup basmati rice
1 tsp paprika
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 handful spinach
Bring the rice to the boil with 1 cup water, then turn the heat down and put the lid on the pan
Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the water is evaporated
Put the kidney beans, tomato puree and paprika in a pan, stir well and heat gently for 5-10 minutes
When the beans are soft, serve with the cooked rice and torn spinach
Another thing about this meal: it’s cheap! I like to throw some spinach in there too, to get a bit more calcium and iron. Students have no excuses for eating chocolate pillows ever again.